Soundscape Study

The Cowling Arboretum is an 880-acre tract of land in central Minnesota.

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Cowling Arboretum

The soundscape was monitored with a weatherproof recorder permanently stationed in the Arb from September, 2012 through November, 2012.  Daily and seasonal changes in the soundscape are depicted in graphs under Data.  This information was attained solely by audibility analysis: I listened to over 36hrs of audio to create the graphs and in sum have listened to over 60hrs of sounds from the Arb.  For a detailed description of the study, read the information under Cowling Arboretum Study.

Additionally, unique sounds recorded over the study’s duration are under Audio Archive.  This library contains a small portion of the over 1tb of recorded audio.  As a result, of the immense amount of data, the Audio Archive will continue to be updated, as I further analyze the audio.

To hear a how the soundscape in Best Woods changes over 24hrs, listen to the following audio.  Each audio collage is a composition of 24 ten second samples.  Each sample represents one hour.  Thus, at the end of every ten seconds, a new hour of the day begins.  In each track, the audio starts at 12am and proceeds to 12pm.  Audio collages for each month of the study have been composed, and also combined into an overall Fall season representation of what a day in the Cowling Soundscape sounds like in the Fall.

When listening, notice how the soundscape changes over each month.  In September, more natural sounds are audible.  By October, these have diminished, and in November minimal natural sounds exist (Coyotes are heard near the end of this track!). In contrast, human-generated sounds are constantly audible.  These changes parallel the graphical data presented on the Results and Data pages.

* Headphones or loudspeakers are recommended, since the early morning and late evening hours are relatively quiet.

September

October

November

Fall Season